Bonfire Night

Sunday, 5 November 2017

A few days after Halloween, on 5th November, we celebrate Bonfire Night. 

Now, it might sound a little strange but we all gather around a bonfire and burn an effigy of a man called Guy Fawkes - there are sometimes even competitions for the 'best Guy Fawkes.' It sounds a little demonic but it is a tradition dating all the way back to 5th November 1605 and the Gunpowder Plot.

What was the Gunpowder Plot?
The Gunpowder Plot was a (failed) attempt to assassinate King James I of England and VI of Scotland. 

Why was the Gunpowder Plot planned?
James was a Protestant monarch and the Catholics had expected him to be more lenient towards them. This was not the case therefore they believed that by killing James, and his heir to the throne, would enable them to place his daughter, the Princess Elizabeth on the throne as a Catholic monarch.

What did they aim to do?
The main aim was to kill King James and all those present at the opening of Parliament on 5th November 1605. 36 barrels of gunpowder has been stored in a cellar underneath Parliament, ready to be set alight at Parliament was opened.

Who was Guy Fawkes?
Guy Fawkes is the name that is most associated with the Gunpowder Plot, however it was instrumented by a man called Robert Catesby. Guy Fawkes was the 'explosive expert' who was tasked with lighting the gunpowder.

Why did the plot fail?
One of the plotters is said to have sent an anonymous message to a relation of his, Lord Monteagle warning him not to attend the opening of Parliament as 'they shall receive a terrible blow this Parliament; and yet they shall not see who hurts them'. Guy Fawkes ended up being caught by some guards in the cellar under Parliament, about to light the gunpowder.

Kit Harrington is currently starring in a drama called 'Gunpowder' on the BBC. I warn you, it is quite heavy. He plays Robert Catesby, which is very interesting as he is actually a descendant of Robert Catesby!!

So that's the brief overview of why, every year, we stand in front of a bonfire and watch fireworks. Strange, huh?


  1. Hi Megan!
    I love this post! Really interesting to learn more about Bonfire Night since I always have such a great time every year celebrating with fireworks and of course a huge fire! I really like your chatty style of writing, too. Keep it up, you're doing great!
    Annie Bee - x


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